I have a secret. Well, not a secret, but something that I haven’t talked about here before. I have Crohn’s disease.
Have you heard of it? If not, the super simplified, dumbed down explanation would be, it’s a disease of the digestive system where your immune system thinks something is wrong & attacks it, but there’s actually nothing wrong.
This leads to feeling like poo. Quite literally.
It’s not a pleasant disease, but for the most part, it is a silent disease.
There is no cause and no cure.
It has embarrassing symptoms (diarrhea, bleeding, cramps, joint pain, etc.) that are sometimes hard to talk about & even harder to make people understand because I may look fine, but a lot is going on inside.
I was officially diagnosed when I was 21 after a very long time of being sick, not knowing what was wrong, tons of tests and two different gastroenterologists.
Once I got the diagnosis, a supportive doctor and the right combination of meds, things have been better.
It is a disease that goes through periods of flares & remission. Luckily, the last few years have been smooth (knock on wood). I have bad days, but on the whole, I am healthy.
Like, 25 pounds heavier than I was a few years ago. In this case, heavier = healthy.
- I have to take pills daily at certain times.
- I have to give myself monthly B12 injections.
- I have to have lab work done every 6 weeks to make sure my liver can handle the meds that are keeping me healthy.
- I have to have an annual colonoscopy.
- I have to think about which meds are safe for me in the event I want to have a baby.
- I have to sometimes think twice about my food choices.
- I have to do and think about a lot of things that most healthy people don’t even consider.
- But, those things keep me healthy & I’m happy to do them.
Tomorrow , the Super Poopers, will be walking in the annual Take Steps for Crohn’s & Colitis walk. I’ve been walking with them for the past five years. It’s amazing to see the support and it’s something I look forward to every year.
The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA)is an awesome non-profit organization that is dedicated to finding cures for Crohn’s Disease & Ulcerative Colitis and raising awareness. If you’re looking for an organization to support, I would highly suggest them. For selfish reasons.
|My 2010 Team
|Taking Steps & Being Heard.
That’s all. Just wanted to share a little of my story. Had you heard of Crohn’s? Do you know someone with an IBD? Did you learn something? Do you have any questions? Class dismissed.